This house would ban beauty contests.
Debate Rounds (3)
For a lot of years, the associations of holding beauty contests tell us that they pick out the most beautiful and intelligent men and women in the world or a particular region by how beautiful and intelligent are the competitors. However, what we see today is that now people watch the beauty contests are only concerned about the beauty of the people. Just a slight reminder, the beauty means something likes the beauty shape, not about their intelligence or their quality and the heart.
Take Miss Asia as an example, there are prizes like the winner, 1st runner-up, 2nd runner up. These are prizes that should be included. But Miss Photogenic Award, Miss Perfect Skin Award, Miss the most Appeal Award are also the main prizes of Miss Asia. Only one prize about intelligence - Miss Great Intelligence Award.
Beauty contests have lost their true meanings, picking out the most beautiful and intelligent men and women in a particular region or country, most intelligent, kidding!
I will argue that beauty contests for adults should not be banned.
If consenting adults want to participate in the beauty contest, they should be free to do so. The only reasons I can think of that would justify taking away these rights is, if people got harmed or if the organizers of the beauty contests would force people to take part in them.
But no-one is forced to participate or watch beauty contests.
If you don't like beauty contests, then you are free not to take part in them.
If you object to the criteria used in beauty contests, then do not watch it.
Contestants are willing adult participants, and are generally not harmed.
I think my opponents argument completely misses the point. The criteria in beauty contests may be hypocritical, but that does not mean it should be banned. Clearly, beauty contests are about beauty. Decades ago, beauty contests were only about beauty. Intelligence and talent did not play a role at all. Over time,because of the women's right movement, public opinion changed and beauty contests just judging beauty were no longer politically correct. So beauty contests introduced "intelligence tests" where beauty queens had to answer questions, or talent portions where contestants could show off their talents.
For example, in Miss America, the talent portion has become more important over the years:
"Artistic performance, position statement, and talent categories have been added to the contest through the years. Today, the Swimwear category makes up less than 30% of the scoring. "
Watson, Ellwood; Martin (2000). "The Miss America Pageant: Pluralism, Femininity, and". Journal of Popular Culture 1 (34): 105–126.
But let's not kid ourselves, the main criterion is still beauty! But even if one disapproves of beauty contests, it should not be a reason to ban it. After all, noone is forced to participate or forced to watch it.
Individual freedom is a good reason not to ban pageants.
My opponent has not yet given a good reason to ban the pageants.
As I have said in the first round, I believe that beauty contests have lost its main purpose. Yes, I admit that 'beauty contests are only about beauty'. However, as my opponents have told all of you that over time, because of the women's right movement, public opinion changed and beauty contests just judging beauty were no longer politically correct. And therefore beauty contests introduced "intelligence tests" where beauty queens had to answer questions, or talent portions where contestants could show off their talents. However, this also means that the main purpose for holding beauty contests are not only for qualifying women of their beauty, but also intelligence - due to 'over time'.
What I am now going to talk about is that holding beauty contests not only cannot achieve its original purpose but also degrading women. Holding beauty contests qualify women into a set of criteria. For example, beauty body shape means a beautiful woman, long legs means beautiful women, there are more and more examples. Feminism has always opposed to the idea of holding beauty contests. If you have time, you can also search the web for further information.
Moreover, the last point I want to specific is that individual freedom is very important, I admit, however, because beauty contests can be shown on television, newspapers and many more other ways of media. Its effects on people are huge. Not that if you have the rights not to watch the beauty contests, but the truth is that there must be some news about beauty contests will be told by somebody else to you. Bear in mind that nowadays, somehow things that you do not want to keep contact with, will still in contact with you someday later. Not watching it, not listening to the programs, but the news may still be told by somebody else, which the news are harmful to your thinking, why should we not ban beauty contests?
The main purpose of beauty contests is entertainment. The intelligence/talent part don't really serve the main purpose:
"Broadcasters show data proving that the talent show and the interviews, the pageant's answers to feminist criticism, were the least popular portions of the pageant, while the swimsuit part still had the power to bring viewers back from the kitchen", said New York Times reporter Iver Peterson. "So pageant officials—who still require chaperons for contestants when they are in Atlantic City—are thinking about showing a little more".
Peterson, Iver (April 9, 2005). "'Fear Factor' Era Poses a Challenge For Miss America". The New York Times(NYTimes.com).
But whether beauty contests achieve their purpose or not is besides the point. It is not the governments responsibility to ban shows/events that do not achieve the goals they set for themselves.
degrading to women?
Whether beauty contests are degrading is subjective. Some women find it degrading and I advise them not to take part in it,
and not to watch it. The following quote shows, that not all women think that it is degrading, but that it is actually a positive thing for many women:
" Phyllis George, the former First Lady of Kentucky, was Miss America 1971. She has heard a lot of criticism of pageants, but she praises them for building self confidence. She says there is “positive self-esteem in being able to walk on a stage in front of millions of TV viewers in a swimsuit and evening gown. You can’t be shy and you have to think on your feet at numerous public events. Miss America is great training for so many careers.” "
Personally, I do not think beauty contests are degrading. Selecting a person because they are beautiful, does not mean that we do not appreciate the other qualities of that person. Some of the beauty queens are very talented and have had, in part because of participation in beauty pageants, great Careers. Examples are Sharon Stone, Halle Berry (actresses), Diane Sawyer (TV journalist) and Vanessa Williams (singer).
Everyone is entitled to have their opinion. If some feminists are against it, they have the right to demonstrate against it. If some women like it, they should be allowed to participate. But it would be really wrong if one group (the feminists) would force their opinions on another group (beauty pageant participants) by taking away some of the freedom of the other group (participating).
My opponent seems to think that Beauty Pageants are some kind of disease, that even been exposed to it for a brief newscast would permanently damage the viewer. This would be a nice premise for a horror movie (e.g. Videodrome), but is not reality. It seems to me that war, school shootings etc. in newscasts have a much worse effect than beauty pageants. Beauty pageants are not harmful at all.
Moreover, I mentioned that beauty contests are degrading women - I admit that maybe participating in beauty contests may help gain the participants' confidence, as you have said - however, after the contests, people will always discuss if the winner or runner-ups really fit in their place. With the sections of swimming costumes and night gowns, they would compare their body shapes and more, often about the appearance and therefore this is setting a set of rules of what is called a beautiful women / lady. This in terms means degrading women.
PRO:"As I have said in the 2nd round, "Individual freedom is very important, I admit, however, because beauty contests can be shown on television, newspapers and many more other ways of media. Its effects on people are huge. "
Beauty contests have a very minimal effect. Essentially, beauty contests are very conservative, they merely reflect commonly held notions of beauty, but it is the society, not the beauty contests that set the standards for beauty. Even if you disagree with these common notions of beauty, I think that one can only blame beauty contests for a missed opportunity to challenge conventional beauty standards.
PRO: " I would once more specific that if you do not watch or participate in beauty contests, you will still be able to listen many feedback and details through the media, your friends and relatives. It is definitely useless to say that if you do not watch or participate in beauty contests, you will not know anything about the details of the competition."
I guess one cannot shield oneself from the knowledge of the existence of beauty contests. But I cannot see how such knowledge would be so detrimental that beauty pageants should be banned altogether.
PRO:"Moreover, I mentioned that beauty contests are degrading women - I admit that maybe participating in beauty contests may help gain the participants' confidence, as you have said - however, after the contests, people will always discuss if the winner or runner-ups really fit in their place. With the sections of swimming costumes and night gowns, they would compare their body shapes and more, often about the appearance and therefore this is setting a set of rules of what is called a beautiful women / lady. This in terms means degrading women."
"degrading" is in the eye of the beholder. Contestants in beauty pageants do not find it degrading. They choose to participate in a competition where their beauty is discussed and compared. They do not find this degrading and neither do I.
Being evaluated by your looks is part of life, whether you want it or not. For most people, the physical appearance of a partner is important.
A beauty contests judges contestants mostly by their beauty, which is only a part of the totality of a person. But that is OK. This does not imply that other aspects of a person should not be valued in life, but it is just not part of this particular competition. And of course one should also not assume that beauty queens are necessarily deficient those other categories.
In the same way, a chess championship only judges contestants by their intelligence, not their personality or their looks. That of course doesn't mean that a chess champion could not be handsome/pretty or nice at the same time.
A beauty contest does not degrade a contestant to just being beautiful. Indeed, there have been many examples of beauty queens that had other strong qualities as well. Examples I have not mentioned are Oprah Winfrey (Miss Black Tennessee 1971), Kate Perry,
Blake Shelton and Sarah Palin (wait- maybe not a good example).
Neither does a chess championship degrade a contestant to just being smart. Actually, the current chess world champion is also a fashion model:
PRO has not given any good reason why beauty contests are actually harmful.
PRO claims that beauty contests are degrading, but this is subjective. Some men/women find it degrading, others do not. People who do not find it degrading should be allowed to participate.
Even if there were minor negative effects of beauty pageants, banning them would be excessive, and the intrusion to individual freedom would be too large to be acceptable.
I thank my opponent for this debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by MyDinosaurHands 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro's argument was extremely weak compared to Con's. And while Pro can tell we should search the web for more, that is his job as a debater. Additionally, Pro had poor grammar, poorer than Con, who did have a few mistakes but not as many as Pro.
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